Times are changing and our sense of time is, too. With 24/7 and cable news-as-it-happens, I pulled up a story yesterday at 5:17 p.m. mountain time (on 6/25) and read the story about the Supreme Court Rejecting the Death Penalty for Child Rape. The NYTimes story had the dateline: published June 26, 2008. So a little pre-dating here.
The publication dates for magazines are becoming irrelevant and unhinged. Have you noticed this? How do you know something is "current" anymore? Notice the dates of magazines. Now new monthly magazines arrive a month ahead of the publication month. Being timely and up-to-the-minute means pre-dating news, and now means "ahead of time". This is one way that time is being disconnected.
Time was when reading the Sunday papers was a luscious leisurely coffee-filled, page-turning time. When I moved to Santa Fe it took months and multiple phone calls to get my NYTimes Sunday delivered and finally, I just said to cancel it as I had, by that time, completely shifted to preferring online reading. Then, typical New Mexico, the paper started showing up three months later. My dead-tree versions never come out of the paper wrapper. My magazines are skimmed and I pull the articles up online to read them and file them on del.icio.us or note them here with a link. These times and my habits - maybe yours, too - are indicative of a huge change. The internet accounts for less than 10 percent of newspaper revenue, according to a NYTimes article, and this year's horrid newspaper ad revenue numbers means this may be the year for a shake-out with newspapers "unable to gain a stable footing on a sinking floor." Major outlets are seeing growing online audiences, but even so...embedded advertising that appear in editorial areas is on the rise. Ethically, we should be told when products are being pumped for pay. Product placement spending "increased 33.7% to $2.90 billion in 2007 from a year earlier," with "The Biggest Loser," "American Idol" and "The Apprentice" having the most product placements on network television, according to p.r. watch.
This week I thought the time has probably come for e-reading. Three big reader friends pulled out their Amazon e-reader Kindle in the space of two days and they were full of un-read books. My friends loved their new reading toy. You can get the WSJ online via the Kindle; the Wall Street Journal remains the only paper to continue to keep online subscriber access walled off with huge fees.
While in current time the consumer confidence reading is fifth lowest ever, at a 16-year low, the art markets are holding up which surprises me in these uncertain times. An American-owned Monet lilies painting, above, sold this week at Christie's International Impressionist and Modern Art sale in London for $80.5 million and the sale beat last year's record and its own pre-sale estimate.
Politically, too, these are new times and we all sense it but we've not named it and politicians haven't yet framed it. I've heard the term, culturally, that we're now in "post-consumerist" times.